The ears are perhaps the most intricate of the body’s five senses. They are very extraordinary in the way they operate translating the sound signals they pick around us into information in a form that can be easily understood by the brain. What’s even more remarkable is that unlike the eye and tongue that employ a plethora of chemical processes to operate, the ear’s working is entirely mechanical. It picks up sound waves in the form of mechanical vibrations and passes it on inform of coded mechanical signals making it top among the most exceptional of the body’s organs.
The ear has the ability to pick up mechanical waves travelling through any media be it gas, solid or liquid making it be among the most perceptive of all the other senses. Sound waves are fundamentally displaced air particles traveling in a particular manner and depending on the sequence of their displacement, the ear distinguishes one sound from another. It possesses the unique ability to decipher these signals depending on how they hit it.
The ear is also responsible for the body’s balance, making it the body’s biggest multi-tasker. But despite all the remarkable abilities the year possesses, it is remains among the most delicate and sensitive of all organs. It is not sufficiently protected from harmful agents seeking to destroy it. So what are these agents and how can the ear be adequately protected from them?
Ear damage is often characterized by mechanical damage to one’s ear which may eventually lead to partial or complete loss of their hearing their hearing function. Loud workplace noise is a frequent cause of hearing loss (leading to an ever increading munber of industrial deafness claims). Prolonged exposure to this noise causes the wearing out of the hairs and nerve cells in the ear’s cochlea responsible for sending sound signals to the brain. When theses nerve cells or hairs are damaged or missing, the transfer of electrical signals becomes impaired leading to hearing loss. One becomes particularly insensitive to high pitch tones, and it becomes especially difficult for one to pick out noise against background noises. Continuous use of headphones and prolonged patronage to noisy places such as nightclubs also has a similar effect. Another common cause of deafness is the continued use of firearms without proper protective gear. So how does one protect themselves sufficiently?
Protect Your Ears!
Earmuffs have been fronted and recommended as a very sufficient method of noise cancellation. They fit against the head effectively enclosing the entire external ears prevent noise from getting in. They are also lined with an acoustic form that reduces levels by a staggering 15 to 30 decibels. Canal caps are also a pretty common method of protection against hearing loss. They effectively cap’ off the hearing canal protecting one from dangerous noise levels.
Another effective protection against dangerous sonic waves is the ear plug. When correctly fitted in the ear, this device expands and fills the ear canal completely sealing out noise. When used together with earmuffs, the ear plug can cancel tremendous levels of noise, even that above 100 decibels. These tools have therefore made it possible for one to work even in the noisiest of environments without fear of losing their very revered sense of hearing.